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Bending the square footage guidelines?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by FlyingtheCoop, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. FlyingtheCoop

    FlyingtheCoop In the Brooder

    Aug 25, 2010
    I'm thinking about adding a third girl to the flock, but I don't want to push it when it comes to space. My coop is only 8 square feet, but I have 48 square feet of run space. Do you think the run would make up for the coop? It would be an enormous surprise if the weather were ever severe enough for them to stay inside all day. Thanks in advance!

  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    You have enough room to add another bird. For standard chickens the guideline is 2 sq ft/bird inside and 10 sq ft/bird outside. Plenty of room in your coop and run. Enjoy!
  3. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Songster

    Jun 15, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    They'll be fine. All those numbers are guidelines, not written in stone.
  4. GoChick

    GoChick Songster

    Sep 16, 2010
    Interesting! I had a similar question!

    My coop is 16sqft - nesting boxes are on the outside so this is the free area.
    My run is 78 sqft.

    I have 6 chickens (standard size) and would like to add two. Can I?

  5. DianeS

    DianeS Songster

    Feb 28, 2010
    I'm finding that SO much depends on the birds personalities. I have four hens in a 16 sq foot coop - and one gets picked on. But only in the coop, not in the run. Not even when the run was half its size becuase of construction. Mine just need more than 4 sq feet of space apiece in order to have enough room to get away from each other. If the coop were bigger she wouldn't get picked on. If I build a coop again I'll give the chickens 5 or 6 sq feet of space apiece just to avoid this kind of problem.
  6. Pequena Bandada

    Pequena Bandada Small Flock

    Jun 13, 2010
    Quote:It really depends on your chickens. I have read on this site and in books that the guideline is 4 sq feet per chicken (not 2). But that said, some chickens are better able to deal with confinement in small spaces than others. I have four 8 month old pullets in a 12 sq foot space, so it's only 3 sq feet per chicken. They do absolutely fine and have never had pecking problems. However, my neighbor has 6 hens in a 40 sq foot coop and her hens fight all the time. She has different breeds than I do, and obviously different chicken personalities.

    So you can always try adding the two new chickens and see how it goes. If all else fails, you'll have to build on!
  7. GoChick

    GoChick Songster

    Sep 16, 2010
    You're right! I can add and if it doesn't work out, get my hubby to build it bigger:)

  8. jnkir7

    jnkir7 Songster

    May 26, 2009
    jonesboro arkansas
    i doubt all will stay inside all day,most of mine stay outside no matter if its snowing or raining, so i say as long as sleeping room is good everything will be fine.
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Depends on the size of the birds, how much they will have to stay inside for long periods. The general guideline has been 4 sf per bird, coop space, and 10 sf run space each. I used to have about 40 birds in my 150 sf main coop--it was hard to keep clean, tons of poop. Now, there are 20 birds in that coop and it's so much nicer, plus, with horrible frigid snowy weather, they can stay in there for a few days with no ill effects, no horrible smell, etc. I like it this way so much better! If I lived in the Northern U.S., I'd probably want more sf per bird than I have now.
  10. megalomaniac

    megalomaniac Songster

    May 16, 2010
    I'm currently running 13 birds (1 adult rooster, 5 adult hens, and 7 20wk old pullets) in a 32 sq ft coop with no problems whatsoever... but I do have a 900sf run for them to play in, so that probably helps a lot... also, the temps down here allow for the birds to spend the majority of their time outside in the run.

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